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Taking Risks Behind the Veil of Ignorance

Ethics 127 (3):610-644 (2017)

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  1. Measuring Belief and Risk Attitude.Sven Neth - 2019 - Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 297:252–272.
    Ramsey (1926) sketches a proposal for measuring the subjective probabilities of an agent by their observable preferences, assuming that the agent is an expected utility maximizer. I show how to extend the spirit of Ramsey's method to a strictly wider class of agents: risk-weighted expected utility maximizers (Buchak 2013). In particular, I show how we can measure the risk attitudes of an agent by their observable preferences, assuming that the agent is a risk-weighted expected utility maximizer. Further, we can leverage (...)
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  • The Ethics of Making Risky Decisions for Others.Luc Bovens - 2019 - In Mark D. White (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Economics. Oxford University Press. pp. 446-473.
    Utilitarianism, it has been said, is not sensitive to the distribution of welfare. In making risky decisions for others there are multiple sensitivities at work. I present examples of risky decision-making involving drug allocations, charitable giving, breast-cancer screening and C-sections. In each of these examples there is a different sensitivity at work that pulls away from the utilitarian prescription. Instances of saving fewer people at a greater risk to many is more complex because there are two distributional sensitivities at work (...)
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  • Weighing the Risks of Climate Change.Lara Buchak - 2019 - The Monist 102 (1):66-83.
    This essay argues that when setting climate policy, we should place more weight on worse possible consequences of a policy, while still placing some weight on better possible consequences. The argument proceeds by elucidating the range of attitudes people can take towards risk, how we must make choices for people when we don’t know their risk-attitudes, and the situation we are in with respect to climate policy and the consequences for future people. The result is an alternative to the Precautionary (...)
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  • Prioritarianism: A Response to Critics.Matthew D. Adler & Nils Holtug - 2019 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 18 (2):101-144.
    Prioritarianism is a moral view that ranks outcomes according to the sum of a strictly increasing and strictly concave transformation of individual well-being. Prioritarianism is ‘welfarist’ (namel...
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